Ketogenic diet, is a low-carbohydrate in the diet, where the liver changes fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies, to be used as an energy source. The diet forces the body to burn fat in the presence of carbohydrates.
According to two discovered studies, the ketogenic, or “keto diet” may improve memory in old age also increases lifespan. The studies linked with weight loss benefits, adjuvant cancer therapy, and some epilepsy treatments.
research on mice
The studies suggest that the diet could help to improve memory and reduce mortality. One study led by Dr. Eric Verdin from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, CA, looked at the effects of the keto diet on aging mice.
Another study led by Dr. John Ramsey, from the University of California, looked at adult mice and had similar findings about the impact of the keto diet, with the addition that it also improves strength and coordination.
To test the development of the mice’s cognitive skills and physical strength, the scientists used tasks involving mazes, balance beams, and running wheels as they aged. Also, monitored the mice for alterations in heart function, and any changes in the regulation of gene expression.
Researchers found that the effects of the ketogenic diet on the body is very similar to those of fasting and dietary restrictions. The team found that a keto diet fed to mice on a cyclical basis, alternated with the control diet prevented obesity, reduced mid-life mortality, and prevented memory loss.
Dr. Verdin says, the older mice on the ketogenic diet had a better memory than the younger mice. The keto diet raises the concentration of beta-hydroxybutyrate acid (BHB) in the body, which improves memory function.
The study has detailed the beneficial impact of BHB on memory and lifespan in the case of aging mammals. The health benefits of BHB may go beyond memory and affect tissues and organ systems.
However, when testing on mice the diet and BHB levels had reverted too normal. The researchers explain, to test whether the impact of a keto diet was long-term.
We expected some differences, but observed a 13% increase in median life span for the mice on a high-fat versus high-carb diet. In humans, it would be 7 to 10 years. But, those mice keep the quality of health in later life.
The study also notes that, the keto diet allowed the mice to preserve their motor function and muscle mass. In terms of clinical implications, the research may unlock the door to novel treatments for age-related cognitive disorders.